Nikon has just announced their sixth camera in the Nikon 1 mirrorless system series, and it's the first mirrorless system camera which can go up to 15m under water without the need for an outer casing.
The AW1 (not to be confused with the AW series of rugged Coolpix compacts) is a new rugged interchangeable lens camera, with a 14MP CX-format sensor, which is waterproof with a JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) rating and can withstand a fall from up to 2m. Of course, the camera body being waterproof and shockproof means nothing without the lenses to accompany it, and Nikon is also announcing two new waterproof and shock-proof lenses; a 1 Nikkor AW 10mm (27mm in 35mm equivalent) f/2.8 and a 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm (30-74mm) f/3.5-5.6 lens.
The AW1 features the exceptionally fast-shooting abilities of the 1 series, it can capture up to 15 frames per second with AF tracking and high-speed continuous shooting of full-resolution images at approximately 60 fps when focus is locked. For the rugged user, the AW1 comes with a built-in electronic compass, altimeter, depth gauge, virtual horizon display and location data functions. And of course, it also comes with the 1 series' exceptionally good hybrid AF system.
An Outdoor Display Option makes the screen more visible outdoors, and a new Underwater Creative Mode makes it easier to shoot underwater. Users can choose from three underwater options; Standard, Scuba and Close Up, and Nikon says the image colors can be tweaked using the live view display, which would be useful for the challenging color balance situations underwater.
The AW1 will come in black, silver and white. Nikon tells us that its local availability and price will be announced at a later date.